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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  February 24, 2011 10:00pm-12:00am EST

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affinity and to give something back to the people. >> have you been invited to the wedding? >> i'm going to be covering the wedding for abc. i'm going to be going, not as a guest, but to report on it. i'm very excited about it. >> and you're going to be a roving reporter right up to past the wedding. between you and i, we know them better than anybody. katie, thank you very much. that's all for tonight. now here's anderson cooper with "ac 360." >> piers, thank you very much. good evening, everyone. in a moment, we're going to transport you from your home or wherever you're watching us right now into libya. into the terrified city of tripoli, into the home of a woman who says she isn't sure how much longer she can hold on. she is desperate. she's desperate that you hear her plea tonight. the call that she made to us at great risk to her own life. this call is a cry in the night. she hasn't been outside in the streets in five days.
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merely stepping outside her front door she says can be fatal. her ruler, the dictator of libya has hired mercenaries who are still on the streets, free to kill. and too much blood has already been spilled. the front line in the fight for the future of libya is just outside this woman's front door. gadhafi controls the streets with his mercenaries and thugs and special forces commanded by his son. but fighting continues elsewhere in other cities. we have new video to show you. protests today about a half hour west of tripoli after a battle between pro and anti-government force there is today. [ gunfire ] west of tripoli, fighting as well in the cities to the east.
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but the future of libya will be won or lost in tripoli itself. if you thought this rant on saturday seemed strange, the one today was even more bizarre. it was a speech made by far and he repeated that america distributed drugs are being given to kids. he blamed a new force which is behind the protests, echoing the same lies told by mubarak in egypt. gadhafi claims that al qaeda itself is behind the protests. listen to what he said. >> translator: this is coming from bin laden. what have you got to do with bin laden? bin laden has recruited these people and sent them here and has been recruiting these young men for months. these criminals are invisible.
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these are the enemy, and they have been recruited by bin laden. these are the criminals. arrest them and send them to court to be prosecuted and see what the criminal law of libya will be applied. we don't want a civil war. >> to add insult to injury, his son went on television in libya claiming that things are fine in tripoli. life is normal, he said on television today. life is normal. the truth is, there may not be protesters on the streets because they are too afraid to step outside. too many have already been killed. in a moment, we'll talk with our own ben wedeman in eastern libya and fouad ajami, as well. i want us to listen to this cry in the night from a woman in tripoli. i talked to her for about 20
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minutes and we're going to play a lot of the phone conversation with you. life is normal, the gadhafis want you to believe. but listen to this young woman, trapped in her home tonight. listen to the fear and the pain and the sadness in her voice, and you will understand that nothing is normal in tripoli. this woman tells us she's not sure how much longer she can hang on. you're scared to go out in the streets? >> very scared. we close the door, we closed the window. we don't go out. but nobody is leaving the house and we all stay together in one room in the center of the house. >> i hear fear in your voice and i hear sadness in your voice. >> very much stress. very much sadness and hopelessness, because you know, we can't go outside. i wish i should go outside and protest and say okay, they arrest you, they beat you. but the problem is you go outside and they're going to shoot you. this is not protest -- you cannot protest.
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we cannot protest. we will have to find another way. this is massacre. >> i hope you know that people around the world are watching and praying and wanting to do something. i hope you know that. >> thank you, mr. anderson. thank you for your efforts. thank you for the people who care. but i'm telling you, i don't mean to be rude, please don't misunderstand me. but the only way something can happen is to put the right kind of action, the right kind of movement and the first step is make libya a no-fly zone. then no more military can come in. we listen closely to mr. obama, we listen closely to the european union, we listen closely to what's happening in south america.
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we listen to closely to all the arab nations and what they are saying. they are not saying read between the lines. we are dying and the problem is, okay, i'm talking to you and you are listening to me and you are seeing the videos and people are talking to you from inside, outside libya. but there needs to be action. how much more waits and people dieing? >> how much longer can you hold on? >> i don't know. you know, i feel like sometimes really like i'm going to go crazy. and then sometimes i have to say, no, no, you have to be strong. your freedom is not easy, it's not cheap. you have to fight for your freedom. you know, tomorrow is supposed to be a day where everybody goes outside. i don't know how many of us are going to go outside, how it's going to happen.
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>> will you go outside? >> it's not effective until something happens from outside. because to just watch or to just feel sorry, and say oh, this is terrible, you know, they are dying, you know, it's not the same as action and real action has to be taken. >> do you feel alone right now? do you feel like people have forgotten what is happening? >> i wanted to ask you, mr. anderson, because i know america is very big, but are your people -- how much do people know about libya? do they really care about what's going on or is it just like one more country we hear about with problems? >> i think the whole world cares right now, and is watching very closely. i think people feel that they
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have let gadhafi rule for too long and do too many terrible things to you and to libya. i think people feel -- >> you know, mr. anderson, the problem is not just to libyan people, he has done very bad things to the libyan people for too long. but the problem is, even outside what he did in the uk or america, you know? when he -- when he killed innocent people in the airplane and he the policewoman, he did many bad things. if that's not enough to what he did to the libyan people, what he did to america and the uk, this is -- i will put this as the first reason, what he did to america is very bad. what he did to the uk is very bad. you know, you have to care at least. if you don't care, if you say
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maybe, if you don't care about the libyan people, at least care about your own people. >> do you think he can hold onto tripoli? >> he's doing a very good job. he's scared us. we are all in the houses like we are sitting in jail. we can't go outside or we get shot at. we hear the bullets. you know, before all of this happened, there is cars going around with big microphone, you know, speakerphone, scaring the people. we received messages on our telephone telling us to support him, and we hear his crazy speeches. he's doing a very good job. he has enough money and he has enough money to hire anybody, mercenaries from africa, even from other countries to come. and look, people who are in libya are scared. all the companies are fleeing. all the other foreigners are going. everybody is leaving.
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>> we hear the lies that he says in his speeches and we hear the lies that his sons say on television. does anyone in tripoli believe it when he says this is al qaeda, does anybody in tripoli believe it when he says it's the americans. >> he's on drugs. we have no al qaeda. libya, we are not -- i don't want to say we are not religious, because i don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. but really we are a very peaceful, middle people. really. we just care about normal living. we are living a life, we don't have good education, we can't even call it an education. we don't have health care. people have just been concerned about just, you know, just barely surviving. this is how we are living. we don't have any of these crazy ideas.
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i don't even want to -- this is crazy. we all know he -- he said we are all on drugs or keeps saying pills, pills, people are taking are pills. look how he's crazy. he said we're getting the drugs in the milk and water. yeah, al qaeda is putting -- he is crazy! i don't know how much more stories he's going to -- this imagination of his, what is this? none of this -- all of this is wrong, all of this is lies. and his sons are liars, even his daughter. she's lying. you see her on the tv, too. she's lying. they're all liars. not because i say they are liars. but i am stuck in my house and i
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don't leave for five days. that's why they are liars. >> we'll play more of my conversation. i just want to bring in professor fouad ajami of johns hopkins, as well as ben wedeman, who is in benghazi. fouad, i mean, it's heartbreaking listening to this woman. >> it is. anderson, it's caligula against his people, this is a monster and we have known this. what's going on in libya now, if you want to have a big assessment of it, there are two republics out there. there's the republic of september 1, 1969, that's the date that moammar gadhafi and his fellow conspirators and plotters hijacked this country in 1969. that's september 1. then there is a republic of
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february 17, which is the republic that has emerged out of the struggle against moammar gadhafi. the moral scandal of this fight, if you will, is that the people of libya, the people of february 17 are fighting and dying alone. when you realize, when you reason to the secretary-general of nato who says this is not a nato problem, and when you realize that the arabs are not going to ride to the rescue, it's interesting. the africans intervened in african causes and saved their own people but the arabs don't. when you realize the eu is implicated in many of the crimes of moammar gadhafi and you realize we have written off this crisis, i feel this young woman who spoke to you knows so much about the world. and this is the humbling
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dimension of this story. every person you brought on could put to shame all the analysts. she told us of the solitude of her people who feel abandoned by the outside world. >> ben, i think of the people just sitting in tripoli in their homes right now, feeling completely alone when the arms of the state are out to still you. it's an extraordinary thing. it's frustrating for those of us on the outside, just watching it and it seems like nothing is happening. from your vantage point, what do you hear when you hear that woman? >> reporter: to go
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outside, while this man has his mercenaries and thugs in the streets. we're also going to look into the story of the americans stranded in tripoli on board a ship, waiting to leave, trapped by the weather we're told, sitting in tripoli harbor. details ahead.
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you heard moammar gadhafi ranting about al qaeda and america drugging libyan teenagers. the fact is, the only foreigners who seem to be operating in libya are african mercenaries roaming the streets of tripoli, flown in by gadhafi, hired by some of the oil billions still at his disposal. if he outdoes the others in blood lust, he's no different when it comes to simple dishonesty. the antidote is simple truth.
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here's the rest of what she had to say. are there still mercenaries on the street? >> we hear gunshots in the streets. we hear mostly at night, we hear gunshots in the street. but we are too scared to look outside into the balcony or outside of the window. you know, tripoli is very big. different parts of town, we try to keep contact with my cousins all over the city. and we hear of many different areas. there are some areas that have been hit hard. before they go outside and like a protest. really it's not really a protest. when you go protest, you can voice your opinion and maybe sometimes like we see, you know, before in egypt, but here they
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shoot you in the head and the heart. i have a brother, he went outside in the protest. but this is over three days ago, and we have friends died, relatives died. we are in a state of very high stress. but also we can't even think straight. we're just -- you know, you experience loss and you experience sadness and the problem is, like last night, after the first speech, video speech, not the speech now happening just a while ago. you know, the speech, the one in the vigil? >> yes, i understand. >> the speech, he is talking about of course, he's crazy, and he's talking like a crazy person, but he's scaring us
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because he give us like a -- like a final word, ultimatum. he's saying, you know, i will go to each house, to each person, you know, like a fight to the end, and he says, i give you guys 24 hours, you know. and you know, this -- as much as we can't believe what he's saying, but this is very scary when you hear this. and the problem is, you know, mr. anderson, i'm sure you're a very educated man, but i just want to explain something and explain to people who are listening or maybe they don't know too much about libya or about tripoli or i don't know how much coverage of what is going on in my country. in tripoli, it's a very big city, and he is controlling the
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city. he doesn't care, you know, outside we see -- really, he doesn't care about these places outside benghazi, all these places that's not inside tripoli. he doesn't care about this, because tripoli, this is where the embassies are, the companies, and this is what he wants to keep a hold on. he doesn't care if he loses control outside or not. the most important thing is my city, the capital, tripoli. and he doesn't want to let go. he doesn't understand. he doesn't care. he is just killing the people. >> you told my producer before that you've reached the end point. what do you mean when you say you've reached the end point? >> everybody has had enough. we've had a enough a long time, not just the last week or this month or this year. even before things happening internationally in neighboring countries. we've all had enough.
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but what i mean in the end point, i don't care. like i'm talking to you now, you know? this is not safe for me, not safe for my family. >> you know you're taking a great risk right now, you know you're taking a great risk. >> a great risk! and i ask of you and cnn and anybody to please just come and see what is going on. you know, because even though this is a great risk on anybody who comes inside of libya. but you cannot believe -- we don't even know how many people died. not because i'm overestimating, but when we know how many people died, i just keep hearing names. i'm making a list of names of each time i hear of people dying and we can't even get the bodies.
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we don't even know who we should say i'm sorry for the loss of your family member. we cannot move. we cannot do anything. and the problem is nothing will change unless drastic measures are taken from outside. because this man is crazy. he doesn't care. he doesn't care if i die. he doesn't care if he burns the whole city. he doesn't care if all of us in tripoli die. he doesn't care. he said this in his speech. he is not even just saying, he is doing. his action is telling you what's happening. he doesn't care. he wants us all to die. >> i can hear -- >> the only way we can fix this is if somebody takes action. if you just make libya a no-fly zone. he's bringing african mercenaries because he has so much money. he can buy people with money. he don't care. they go inside to kill us, to rape us, to destroy our country,
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enough! >> i don't want to keep you on the phone for too long, just for safety reasons. so please stay safe and we'll talk to you tomorrow. >> thank you, mr. anderson. i hope i was able to -- i hope you understand me and thank you for your patience with me. and thank you, cnn, and thank you america for listening and for caring. thank you very much. >> stay strong. let's bring back in fouad ajami and ben wedeman, who is in benghazi tonight. fouad, every night we talk about the strength and courage of people calling us and telling us what is happening. the strength of this woman, who is clearly afraid and clearly desperate and yet all the more desperate that the world knows what's happening there and willing to risk her life to tell it. >> exactly. all these people, what they want us to do is bear witness of the
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ordeal they have suffered and they continue to suffer under this man. what's interesting about this story and what's interesting about this young woman we've been listening to, here is gadhafi, the house of gadhafi, all the billions of dollars they have. and listen to his vulgarity and the vulgarity of his son who bought the ph.d. from the london school of economics. compare that vulgarity with all the billions of dollars with the simple dignity of this young woman who gave an amazing description of the situation in libya and the ordeal of her country. she's absolutely right. the man has billions of dollars. libya has $140 billion in foreign reserves. when we say libya has $140 billion, we mean gadhafi has access to $140 billion. so this is an uneven fight. and the only thing that would make it an even fight is foreign intervention and foreign help for these people. and i think over and over again, they keep appealing to us, but the cavalry is not coming to libya and ben wedeman is right. the libyans have to do it on
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their own. the libyans in the east will have to help their brothers in the west. and the outcome is not yet certain. >> ben, obviously the people in benghazi are concerned if tripoli is able to stay in cardcar gadhafi's hands and they can launch an attack on benghazi. we talked to you about this a little yesterday. i know you went to a hospital today. i would like to hear what you saw in the hospital, but can benghazi defend itself? >> reporter: benghazi is not very well defended at the moment. they have very little in the way of heavy weaponry. there's a lot of ak-47s, rocket-propelled grenades out there. some artillery. some helicopters. but they don't really have the wherewithal if they had to stop moammar gadhafi's forces.
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having said that, they do have something that the regime doesn't have, and that is the will power and the determination to resist, and that, you see every single day here. we've seen that given the ability to rule themselves, they're actually doing a pretty good job about it. they've basically maintained the power supply, a power supply that the regime ordered the power plant here to cut off. but in fact, there haven't been any power cuts except for one very brief five-second one since we got here. what we're seeing is that these people do have the will to put up a fight, and that's something from everything we're hearing, anderson, is that the libyan military does not have. those forces still under the control of tripoli, we're seeing defections on an almost daily basis of soldiers, of officers who simply want no part of that fight. now, regarding the hospital we went to, which was really in the
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front line dealing with hundreds of casualties, potentially hundreds of fatalities on some days during the fighting between the anti-government protesters and the forces here, there we saw basically a hospital that was traumatized. we have to remember that libya, this part of libya, has not seen warfare for decades. the hospitals normally deal with auto accidents. they seem to be dealing all right. some libyan doctors based in the uk have come back to work in the hospital. the medical supplies seem to be standing up. but the staff talks about -- they told us about nurses and doctors breaking down in tears, dealing with just a level of bloodshed that they've never had to deal with before. anderson? >> ben, you and your team continue a remarkable reporting
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and stay safe. ahead also, americans desperate to get out of libya, still waiting to go on a ferry. why is it taking to long? we'll try to figure that out. other countries seem to have gotten their people out. we'll talk about that ahead. ♪ [ male announcer ] when the food we eat has nutritional gaps... so do we. but with more key nutrients than one-a-day essential, centrum fills those gaps better. centrum. complete from a to zinc. you know, when i got him on e-trade he was all like "oh no, i cannot do investing."
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governments around the world are scrambling to get their citizens out of libya. the u.s. seems to be having more trouble than anyone es at this point, even as the state department is urging americans to leave immediately.
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a ferry chartered to evacuate u.s. citizens to malta tonight, as far as we know it is still docked in tripoli. the state department says about 285 people are onboard, including 167 u.s. citizens. it is not clear when the ferry will leave. the timing depends on the weather, which has not been cooperating. other countries have managed to get a lot of their people out. today, a plane carrying british nationals landed in malta. britain has evacuated more than 350 of its citizens and had five flights scheduled to depart today. another ferry carrying chinese officials left libya from benghazi. china's evacuated 12,000 of its citizens so far. a ferry carrying more than 3,000 turks left benghazi wednesday. in paris, an airbus belonging to to french air force landed and took off from the central libyan
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sent of saba. those are the efforts of other countries. again, the u.s. right now, trying to get their citizens out onboard this ferry. fouad ajami joins me again from johns hopkins school of advanced international studies. and fran townsend joined me, as well. she visited libyan officials at the invitation of the libyan government in her last trip. fran, why do you think we're having so much trouble getting u.s. citizens out? >> anderson, those countries that have been successful have mostly not had to ex-filtrate their citizens from tripoli. you talked about benghazi and other problems of libya. what's happened is the state department chose to marshal everyone they needed to evacuate in tripoli. they had a plan to evacuate them by air. the air reservations they made were not honored. so they were looking for plan b. they were reluctant to get a
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military aircraft in there for fear they could get involved in a confullgration. so plan c was the ferry. the boat itself, the ferry itself is protected and the sort of egress to the ferry is also protected. but it's not adequate. we should not be in a position that we have not been able to evacuate these americans now. and i think my understanding is folks are frustrated in the administration, as you might expect. and the problem is, this is a difficult task that we always seem to assign, regardless of administration, to the state department, which frankly is not probably the best organization in the u.s. government to handle such a task. >> fouad, you listened in arabic gadhafi gave today. what struck you about it? >> it's almost embarrassing.
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when you talk about gadhafi criminality mixed with comedy and how much of an absurd man he is. in this interview, at one point, this is really -- he asked the libyan people to indulge him, to put up with him and he puts himself forward and said think of me as queen elizabeth. i reign, but i do not rule. i'm almost tempted to do lloyd benson, we know queen elizabeth and moammar gadhafi is no queen elizabeth. this is the absurdity of this man. he then called on libyan women to go out and get their brothers and sons out of the streets, because they are getting hurt. then, of course, he returned to the big fat lie, that this is bin laden, and these are the doings of bin laden. and the bin laden explanation by moammar gadhafi is not accidental. the bin laden explanation is an appeal to the fears of the west.
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it's an attempt to tell people in europe and people in the united states, look, there's no alternative to me except the jihadist, and what's absurd about this is he himself, he himself, gadhafi sent thousands of jihadists against american forces in iraq. we know that for sure. so it's the old trick, it's the old trick that gadhafi had been playing to perfection for 40 years. >> fouad, you saw some document from benghazi written by people how to govern themselves. >> i love that. i downloaded this document because it speaks to the discipline ben wedeman has been telling us about. a statement that the people of benghazi circulated, a kind of leaflet, telling the people what to do and telling the people of benghazi what this revolution is all about. one, it says in the name of god, et cetera, safe keep the lives of all libyans and arabs.
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they're a trust to you. defend public institutions and establishments, for they are property of the libyan people. and no honorable people will trifle with public property. every free and decent libyan should turn over weapons obtained from army surplus or military camps. clear all roadblocks so that calm will return to all public and private establishments. avoid any provocative acts that would harm our beloved country. we will prove to one and all that our revolution is not a revolution of hul gans and havinga bonds. these are the people who have stepped forth in the chaos of this revolution with moammar gadhafi and we can see them and read them and hear them and can trust what they stand for and what they stay, with the doings of the house of gadhafi. >> fran, we heard this woman in tripoli begging for at the very least a no-fly zone.
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what is it going to take to defeat gadhafi? is it going to take someone in his inner circle essentially shooting him? >> i actually do think that's right, anderson. there are very powerful people that the u.s. has had contact with over the past and currently has contact with. musa kusa was implicated in the pan-am 103 bombing. u.s. officials know him and are talking to him. the head of the interior and intelligence services, another guy directly implicated in pan-am 103's bombing, these are the people, these are not good people, but these are the thugs around him that we have contact with, and presumably they're going to have to make a move. when they make a move, that is the last prop that is holding this guy in power. and i expect -- you know, it's a slow disintegration. when you listen to this woman, that the united states would actually lead and act here.
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but the president in fairness, is in a very difficult position until he can get those americans out. so getting the americans out is not only a national security interest for the united states, but it's sort of a precedent before the president can actually act in the favor of the libyan people, i think. >> fouad ajami, appreciate you being on. coming up, allegations about an effort within the u.s. military to use psychological operations not against the enemy, the taliban in afghanistan, but against u.s. senators to influence american policy, to try to get more money and troops for the war in afghanistan. it is a stunning report from "rolling stone." that's coming up next. also, isha sesay is following other stories. there's been a terror arrest in texas. a 20-year-old saudi national is facing a federal charge of an attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. that and more just ahead.
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a stunning report about aalleged attempt by the u.s. military to influence senators to approve more troops and money for the war in afghanistan. it's a story that broke on rollingstone.com. the article quotes a former active duty lieutenant colonel who claims he and his team received orders to psychologically manipulate
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senators like john mccain, al franken, even the chairman of the joint chiefs admiral mike mullen. the military team refused noting it's illegal to use psy-ops on americans. but raising the red flag earned him an investigation. the general is denying that it happened. the top commander in afghanistan, general david petraeus, is ordering an investigation. joini joining appreciate both of you being with us. when people hear spsy-ops, thats supposed to be directed toward the enemy. there's a quote in the article that said "what do i have to plant inside their heads? what kind of tactics are we talking about here when we talk about see ones that you say you were asked to use toward u.s. senators and others?"
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>> i think really more correctly what we would say is influence operations. and what we mean by that is, how would we influence these senators, these visitors or the think tanks that visited us to do things the way we wanted them. and for instance, with senators and the congressman, it was simply, how had these people voted in the past, what were their positions coming in and what could the generals actually say to them that would get them to do what we wanted them to do, provide more money and troops, and support mtma better. >> so was it actual kind of techniques that you had learned or was it more benign, was it just, well, you know, getting a sense of okay, who are these visiting dignitaries and let's try to show them -- let's put the best possible face on things. >> first off, we didn't do it.
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what i mean by that is, we were pressured really from december on to start providing this kind of information. at first, it was rather benign, simple background information, biographical summaries, voting records, positions people had taken. as time went on through january, february, march, it got -- the pressure built for us to be able to provide better or more kind of assessment work. so not only what had these people done in the past but, again, what could we do, what could the generals say, what information could we present to them that would get them to provide what they needed at the time. usually it was more troops, more trainers, because we were woefully short. the problem wasn't so much that we were using information to do that. the problem was that you wouldn't want to use a psychologically trained team, you wouldn't want to use us as
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information operators to do that. because as you said up front, we're focused on the enemy and we should have been, not on our own people. >> michael hastings, you've written this story for rollingstone.com. explain what you think is so surprising here. >> sure. and i would just like to say that was an incredible interview you did to start the show and your commitment to
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>> waving a red flag and saying hey, this isn't right, this doesn't look good, this is illegal, even when you had all that, they still tried to force him to go along. when he went to the lawyers, the j.a.g. lawyers, they said yeah, this is illegal. you shouldn't be doing this. they refined the order, but for him waving this red flag, they punished him. and his deputy. >> michael hastings, what's different about this than, you know, as a reporter, you go out to a unit and they want to put the best face forward and they
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show you some sort of a village, as reporters you find yourself in these dog and pony shows and think wait a minute, this isn't real. what is different about this? >> it's certainly part of the same larger picture. but the issue is the resource or the weapon the military is employing to do that. when we're out there, we're with public affairs and we know their job is to spin us and put the best face on things. this is a great question, right? if you found out your team showing you around had -- just had completed a 40-hour course in psychological operations and was trained in psy-ops, you start to question is that an appropriate use of that resource? colonel holmes' team cost approximately $6 million a year there. so is that an appropriate use of
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taxpayer money to wage a propaganda war? i would find it rather fishy if that had happened. >> can i add something to that, anderson >> go ahead. >> there's actually a credibility issue, as well. when you're dealing as a reporter with the public affairs officer or public affairs professional in the military, you know that that person is trained to tell you the truth and they have an ethical code they can't break. what they're telling you they believe to be so. my team, my specialty, information operations and the psychological arm of things, we are trained to deceive if we have to. we aren't held to the same ethical standards. so it's not a question that we would have or we could have told you a lie. it's simply that if i come to you as an information operator and i'm talking to you giving you the story as a reporter, you really -- you really don't have
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to trust me. you shouldn't trust me. in fact, by my participating in that, i will taint the news. >> interesting. again, it's on rollingstone.com. michael hastings, appreciate you coming on. mike holmes, as well. a lot more happening. protests go into the ninth day in wisconsin. police are sent to several homes. isha joins us with that and more ahead. [ woman ] nine iron, it's almost tee-time...
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let's check other headlines. isha sesay has a "360" news and business bulletin. a saudi national living in texas is being held on terror related charges. he's accused of acquiring chemicals to make a bomb. one of his possible targets was the dallas home of former president george bush. in wisconsin, protests against a controversial budget repair bill continue at the state capital building. while the legislature remains in gridlock. 14 democratic state senators left the state to prevent a vote on the bill. today, state police went to their homes to try to rangle them back for a vote, but they came up empty handed. general motors is reporting its first annual profit in seven years. the bailed out automaker earned $4.7 billion in 2010. and anderson, it is the beginning of the end, the space shuttle "discovery" launch today marking its 39th and final
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flight. the crew will deliver items to the international space station. a bittersweet piece of history there. >> yeah, really. amazing. much more at the top of the hour, starting with a remarkable woman's cry in the night from tripoli. hostcould switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? man: no way! man: hey rick check this out! anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save 15% or more on car insurance.
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good evening, everyone. in a moment, we're going to transport you from your home or
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wherever you're watching us right now into libya. into the terrified city of tripoli, into the home of a woman who says she isn't sure how much longer she can hold on. she is desperate. she's desperate that you hear her plea tonight. the call that she made to us at great risk to her own life. this call is a cry in the night. she hasn't been outside in the streets in five days. merely stepping outside her front door she says can be fatal. her ruler, the dictator of libya has hired mercenaries who are still on the streets, free to kill. and too much blood has already been spilt. the front line in the fight for the future of libya is just outside this woman's front door. gadhafi controls the streets with his mercenaries and thugs and special forces commanded by his son. but fighting continues elsewhere in other cities. we have new video to show you. protests today about a half hour west of tripoli after a battle between pro and anti-government
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forces there today. [ gunfire ] west of tripoli, fighting as well in the cities to the east. but the future of libya will be won or lost in tripoli itself. today, gadhafi made another speech. if you thought this rant on tuesday seemed strange, the one today was even more bizarre. it was a speech made by phone and he repeated his fantasy that america distributed drugs and are being slipped into coffey and mosques and given to kids. he blamed a new force which is behind the protests, echoing the same lies told by mubarak in egypt. gadhafi claims that al qaeda itself is behind the protests. listen to what he said. >> translator: this is coming from bin laden.
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what have you got to do with bin laden? bin laden has recruited these people and sent them here and has been recruiting these young men for months. these criminals are invisible. these are the enemy, and they have been recruited by bin laden. these are the criminals. arrest them and send them to court to be prosecuted and see what the criminal law of libya will be applied. we don't want a civil war. >> to add insult to injury, his son went on television in libya claiming that things are fine in tripoli. life is normal, he said on
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television today. life is normal. the truth is, there may not be protesters on the streets because they are too afraid to step outside. too many have already been killed. in a moment, we'll talk with our own ben wedeman in eastern libya and fouad ajami, as well. i want us to listen to this cry in the night from a woman in tripoli. i talked with her about an hour and a half ago. i talked to her for about 20 minutes and we're going to play a lot of the phone conversation with you. life is normal, the gadhafis want you to believe. but listen to this young woman, trapped in her home tonight. listen to the fear and the pain and the sadness in her voice, and you will understand that nothing is normal in tripoli. this woman tells us she's not sure how much longer she can hang on. you're scared to go out in the streets? >> very scared. we closed the door, we closed the window. we don't go out. but nobody is leaving the house and we all stay together in one room in the center of the house. >> i hear fear in your voice and
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i hear sadness in your voice. >> very much stress. very much sadness and hopelessness, because you know, we can't go outside. i wish i should go outside and protest and say okay, they arrest you, they beat you. but the problem is you go outside and they're going to shoot you. this is not protest -- you cannot protest. i wish we can protest. we cannot protest. we will have to find another way. this is not protest. this is massacre. >> i hope you know that people around the world are watching and praying and wanting to do something. i hope you know that. >> thank you, mr. anderson. thank you for your efforts. thank you for the people who care. but i'm telling you, i don't mean to be rude, please don't misunderstand me. but the only way something can happen is to put the right kind
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of action, the right kind of movement and the first step is make libya a no-fly zone. if you make libya a no-fly zone, no more mercenaries can come in. we listen closely to mr. obama, we listen closely to the european union, we listen closely to what's happening in south america. we lp closely to all the arab nations and what they are saying. they are not saying read between the lines. we are dying and the problem is, okay, i'm talking to you and you are listening to me and you are seeing the videos and people are talking to you from inside, outside libya. but the action -- but there needs to be action. how much more waits and people dieing? >> how much longer can you hold on? >> i don't know. you know, i feel like sometimes really like i'm going to go crazy. and then sometimes i have to
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say, no, no, you have to be strong. your freedom is not easy, it's not cheap. you have to fight for your freedom. you know, tomorrow is supposed to be a day where everybody goes outside. i don't know how many of us are going to go outside, how it's going to happen. >> will you go outside? >> it's not effective until something happens from outside. because to just watch or to just feel sorry, and say oh, this is terrible, you know, they are dying, you know, it's not the same as action and real action has to be taken. >> do you feel alone right now? do you feel like people have forgotten what is happening? that they're not paying attention or just not acting?
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>> i wanted to ask you, mr. anderson, because i know america is very big, but are your people -- how much do people know about libya? do they really care about what's going on or is it just like one more country we hear about with problems? >> i think the whole world cares right now, and is watching very closely. i think people feel that they have let gadhafi rule for too long and do too many terrible things to you and to libya. i think people feel -- >> you know, mr. anderson, the problem is not just to libyan people, he has done very bad things to the libyan people for too long. but the problem is, even outside and at least care what he did in the uk or in america, you know? when he -- when he killed innocent people in the airplane and he did many -- and the policewoman, he did many bad things.
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if that's not enough to what he did to the libyan people, at least what he did to the american and what he did to the uk. this is -- i will put this as the first reason, what he did to america is very bad. what he did to the uk is very bad. you know, you have to care at least. if you don't care, if you say maybe, if you don't care about the libyan people, at least care about your own people. >> do you think he can hold onto tripoli? >> he's doing a very good job. he's scared us. we are all in the houses like we are sitting in jail. we can't go outside or we get shot at. we hear the bullets. you know, before all of this happened, there is cars going around with big microphone, you know, speakerphone, scaring the people. we received messages on our telephone telling us to support him, and we hear his crazy speeches.
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he's doing a very good job. he has enough money and he has enough money to hire anybody, mercenaries from africa, even from other countries to come. and look, people who are in libya are scared. all the companies are fleeing. all the other foreigners are going. everybody is leaving. >> we hear the lies that he says in his speeches and we hear the lies that his sons say on television. does anyone in tripoli believe it when he says this is al qaeda, does anybody in tripoli believe it when he says it's the americans? >> he's on drugs. we have no al qaeda. libya, we are not -- i don't want to say we are not religious, because i don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. but really we are a very peaceful, middle people. really. we just care about normal living. eating, sleeping.
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we are living a life, we don't have good education, we can't even call it an education. we don't have health care. people have just been concerned about just, you know, just barely surviving. this is how we are living. we don't have any of these crazy ideas. i don't even want to -- this is crazy. we all know he -- he said we are all on drugs or keeps saying pills, pills, people are taking pills. today he said we are -- you know how we get the drugs? look how he's crazy. he said we're getting the drugs in the milk and water. yeah, al qaeda is putting -- he is crazy! i don't know how much more stories he's going to -- this imagination of his, what is this? none of this -- all of this is wrong, all of this is lies.
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and his sons are liars, worse and even his daughter. she's lying. you see her on the tv, too. she's lying. they're all liars. not because i say they are liars. because pictures are showing they are liars. but i am stuck in my house and i don't leave for five days. that's why they are liars. we're going to play more of my conversation with this woman. i just want to bring in professor fouad ajami of johns hopkins, as well as ben wedeman, who is in benghazi. fouad, i mean, it's heartbreaking listening to this woman. >> it is. anderson, it's caligula against his people, if you will. this is a monster and we have already known this. what's going on in libya now, if you want to have a big assessment of it, there are two republics out there. there's the republic of september 1, 1969, that's the date that moammar gadhafi and
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his fellow conspirators and plotters hijacked this country from a feeble and decent monarch in 1969. that's september 1. then there is a republic of february 17, which is the republic that has emerged out of the struggle against moammar gadhafi. the moral scandal of this fight, if you will, is that the people of libya, the people of february 17 are fighting and dying alone. when you realize, when you listen to the secretary-general of nato who says this is not a nato problem, and when you realize that the arabs are not going to ride to the rescue, it's very interesting. the africans intervened in african causes and saved their own people but the arabs don't. when you realize the eu is implicated in many of the crimes and thievery of moammar gadhafi, and then when you listen to american diplomacy and you realize we have written off this crisis, i feel this young woman who spoke to you knows so much about the world. and this is the humbling dimension of this story. every person you brought on
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could put to shame all analysts, all strategic analysts of this conflict. i think she told us the truth. she told us of the solitude of her people who feel abandoned by the outside world. >> ben, i think of the people just sitting in tripoli in their homes right now, feeling completely alone when the arms of the state are out to kill you, it's an extraordinary thing. it's frustrating for those of us on the outside, just watching it and it seems like nothing is happening. from your vantage point, what do you hear when you hear that woman? >> reporter: well, i mean, what we're hearing is that people here are definitely doing all they can to support their brothers and sisters in western libya. they are trying to put together a defense. they are in close contact with people in the western part of the country. for instance, they're contacting tribal leaders, trying to
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convince them that this is a sinking regime, and there's no point in going down with it. they've even been in contact with gadhafi's tribe itself, explaining to them that they have no problems, no qualms with the tribe. they just need to get rid of colonel moammar gadhafi. we know that they are trying to beef up their forces in the eastern part of the country. primarily in the defense that moammar gadhafi launches a counteroffensive. but they are trying to coordinate with the towns and villages in the west that have successfully driven out gadhafi's forces. so the outside world may be sitting on their hands when it comes to actively supporting the people in tripoli, but the people in this part of the country are very concerned, very closely watching what is going on in the west, and doing what
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they can to make a difference. i think at the end of the day, anderson, they may be the ones who will finally topple moammar gadhafi, because they are one flesh, one body, and they do really feel that they must do what they must do to help the people in tripoli. anderson? >> we're going to have more from ben and fouad in a moment. the live chat is up and running and we'll play more with this woman. i just think she cuts through the clutter and i know it starts to feel the same thing day after day on a lot of those stories. but something about talking to this woman tonight i think really just shines a light on the reality of what so many thousands of people are living right now in tripoli, in their homes, afraid to go outside, while this man has his mercenaries and thugs in the streets. we're also going to look into the story of the americans stranded in tripoli onboard a ship waiting to leave, trapped by the weather, sitting in
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tripoli harbor. details ahead. i'm sam chernin, owner of sammy's fish box. i opened the first sammy's back in 1966. my employees are like family, and i want people that work for me to feel that they're sharing in my success. we purchase as much as we can on the american express open gold card so we can accumulate as many points as possible. i pass on these points to my employees to go on trips with their families. when my employees are happy, my customers are happy. how can the gold card help serve your business? booming is taking care of your business by taking care of your employees.
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who seem to be operating in libya are african mercenaries roaming the streets of tripoli, and elsewhere, froen flown in by gadhafi himself, hired by some of the oil billions still at his disposal. gadhafi has gone farther than any other dictator to maintain power. if he outdoes the others in blood lust, he's no different when it comes to simple dishonesty. the antidote is simple truth. here's the rest of what she had to say. tonight it's from a woman in tripoli. here's the rest of what she had to say. are there still mercenaries on the street? >> we hear gunshots in the streets. we hear mostly at night, we hear gunshots in the street. but we are too scared to look outside into the balcony or outside of the window. you know, tripoli is very big. different parts of town, we try to keep contact with my cousins all over the city.
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different aumts or uncles whether from my mother's said or my father's side. and we hear of many different areas. there are some areas that have been hit hard. before they go outside and like a protest. really it's not really a protest. when you go protest, you can voice your opinion and maybe sometimes like we see, you know, before in egypt, but here they shoot you in the head and the heart. i have a brother, he went outside in the protest. but this is over three days ago, and we have friends died, relatives died. we are in a state of very high stress. but also mourning. but also we can't even think straight. we're just -- you know, you experience loss and you experience sadness and the problem is, like last night,
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after the first speech, video speech, not the speech now happening just a while ago. you know, the speech, the one in the vigil? >> yes, i understand. >> the speech, he is talking about of course, he's crazy, and he's talking like a crazy person, but he's scaring us because he give us like a -- like a final word, ultimatum. he's saying, you know, i will go to each house, to each person, you know, like a fight to the end, and he says, i give you guys 24 hours, you know. and you know, this -- as much as we can't believe what he's saying, but this is very scary when you hear this. and the problem is, you know, mr. anderson, i'm sure you're a
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very educated man, but i just want to explain something and explain to people who are listening or maybe they don't know too much about libya or about tripoli or i don't know how much coverage of what is going on in my country. in tripoli, it's a very big city, and he is controlling the city. he doesn't care, you know, outside we see -- really, he doesn't care about these places outside benghazi, all these places that's not inside tripoli. he doesn't care about this, because tripoli, this is where the embassies are, the companies, and this is what he wants to keep a hold on. he doesn't care if he loses control outside or not. the most important thing is my city, the capital, tripoli. and he doesn't want to let go. he doesn't understand. he doesn't care.
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he is just killing the people. >> you told my producer before that you've reached the end point. what do you mean when you say you've reached the end point? >> everybody has had enough. we've had a enough a long time, not just the last week or this month or this year. even before things happening internationally in neighboring countries. we've all had enough. but what i mean in the end point, i don't care. like i'm talking to you now, you know? this is not safe for me, not safe for my family. >> you know you're taking a great risk right now, you know you're taking a great risk. >> a great risk! and i ask of you and cnn and anybody to please just come and see what is going on. you know, because even though this is a great risk on anybody who comes inside of libya. but you cannot believe -- we
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don't even know how many people died. not because i'm overestimating, but when we know how many people died, i just keep hearing names. i'm making a list of names of each time i hear of people dying and we can't even get the bodies. we don't even know who we should say i'm sorry for the loss of your family member. we cannot move. we cannot do anything. and the problem is nothing will change unless drastic measures are taken from outside. because this man is crazy. he doesn't care. he doesn't care about his people. he doesn't care if i die. he doesn't care if he burns the whole city. he doesn't care if all of us in tripoli die. all of us in libya die. he doesn't care. he said this in his speech. he is not even just saying, he is doing. his action is telling you what's happening. he doesn't care. he wants us all to die.
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>> i can hear -- >> the only way we can fix this is if somebody takes action. if you just make libya a no-fly zone. he's bringing african mercenaries because he has so much money. he can buy people with money. he don't care. they go inside to kill us, to rape us, to destroy our country, enough! >> i don't want to keep you on the phone for too long, just for safety reasons. so please stay safe and we'll talk to you tomorrow. >> thank you, mr. anderson. i hope i was able to -- i hope you understand me and thank you for your patience with me. and thank you, cnn, and thank you america for listening and for caring. thank you very much. >> stay strong. let's bring back in fouad ajami and ben wedeman, who is in benghazi tonight.
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fouad, every night we talk about the strength and courage of people calling us and telling us what is happening. the strength of this woman, who is clearly afraid and clearly desperate and yet all the more desperate that the world knows what's happening there and willing to risk her life to tell it. >> exactly. all these people, what they want us to do is bear witness of the ordeal they have suffered and they continue to suffer under this man. what's interesting about this story and what's interesting about this young woman we've been listening to, here is gadhafi, the house of gadhafi, all the billions of dollars they have. and listen to his vulgarity and the vulgarity of his son who bought the ph.d. from the london school of economics. compare that vulgarity with all the billions of dollars with the simple dignity of this young woman who gave an amazing description of the situation in libya and the ordeal of her country. she's absolutely right. the man has billions of dollars. libya has $140 billion in foreign reserves. when we say libya has $140 billion, we mean gadhafi has
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access to $140 billion. so this is an uneven fight. and the only thing that would make it an even fight is foreign intervention and foreign help for these people. and i think over and over again, they keep appealing to us, but the cavalry is not coming to libya and ben wedeman is right. the libyans have to do it on their own. the libyans in the east will have to help their brothers in the west. this is a fight for the country between these two contending forces. and the outcome is not yet certain. >> ben, obviously the people in benghazi are concerned if tripoli is able to stay in gadhafi's hands and they can launch an attack on benghazi. we talked to you about this a little yesterday. i know you went to a hospital today. i would like to hear what you saw in the hospital, but can benghazi defend itself? >> reporter: benghazi is not
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very well defended at the moment. they have very little in the way of heavy weaponry. there's a lot of ak-47s, rocket-propelled grenades out there. some artillery. some helicopters. but they don't really have the wherewithal if they had to stop moammar gadhafi's forces. having said that, they do have something that the regime doesn't have, and that is the will power and the determination to resist, and that, you see every single day here. we've seen that given the ability to rule themselves, they're actually doing a pretty good job about it. they've basically maintained the power supply, a power supply that the regime ordered the power plant here to cut off. but in fact, there haven't been any power cuts except for one very brief five-second one since we got here. what we're seeing is that these people do have the will to put
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up a fight, and that's something from everything we're hearing, anderson, is that the libyan military does not have. those forces still under the control of tripoli, we're seeing defections on an almost daily basis of soldiers, of officers who simply want no part of that fight. now, regarding the hospital we went to, which was really in the front line dealing with hundreds of casualties, potentially hundreds of fatalities on some days during the fighting between the anti-government protesters and the forces here, there we saw basically a hospital that was traumatized. we have to remember that libya, this part of libya, has not seen warfare for decades. the hospitals normally deal with auto accidents. they seem to be dealing all right. some libyan doctors based in the uk have come back to work in the hospital.
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the medical supplies seem to be standing up. but the staff talks about -- they told us about nurses and doctors breaking down in tears, dealing with just a level of bloodshed that they've never had to deal with before. anderson? >> ben, you and your team continue a remarkable reporting and stay safe. thank you, web. fouad, stick around. i want to talk to you more. ahead also, americans desperate to get out of libya, still waiting to go on a ferry. why is it taking to long? we'll try to figure that out. other countries seem to have been able to get their people out. we'll talk about that ahead. ♪
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governments around the world are scrambling to get their citizens out of libya. the u.s. seems to be having more trouble than anyone else at this point, even as the state department is urging americans in libya to leave immediately. a ferry chartered to evacuate u.s. citizens to malta tonight, as far as we know it is still docked in tripoli. the state department says about 285 people are onboard, including 167 u.s. citizens. it is not clear when the ferry will leave. u.s. officials say the timing depends on the weather, which has not been cooperating. other countries have managed to get a lot of their people out. today, a plane carrying british nationals landed in malta. britain has evacuated more than 350 of its citizens and had five flights scheduled to depart from tripoli today.
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another ferry carrying chinese officials reached port in crete today. it left libya from benghazi. china's evacuated 12,000 of its citizens so far. a ferry carrying more than 3,000 turks left benghazi wednesday. in paris, an airbus belonging to french air force landed and took off from the strl libyan city of saba. those are the efforts of other countries. again, the u.s. right now, trying to get their citizens out onboard this ferry. fouad ajami joins me again from johns hopkins school of advanced international studies. and fran townsend joined me, as well. fran traveled to libya in 2007, 2009, and 2010. she visited libyan officials at the invitation of the libyan government in her last trip. fran, why do you think we're having so much trouble getting u.s. citizens out? >> anderson, those countries that have been successful have
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mostly not had to ex-filtrate their citizens from tripoli. you talked about benghazi and other parts of libya. this is a real problem. what's happened is the state department chose to marshal everyone they needed to evacuate into tripoli. they originally had a plan to evacuate them by air. the air reservations they made were not honored. so they were looking for plan b. they were reluctant to get a military aircraft in there for fear they could get involved in a conflagration. and by the way, the libyans wouldn't permit them to land a u.s. military aircraft. so plan c was the ferry. weather has enter veered, they're hoping the weather will lift and they can leave tomorrow. the boat itself, the ferry itself is protected and the sort of ingress and egress of the ferry is also protected. but anderson, the bottom line is it's not adequate. we should not be in a position that we have not been able to evacuate these americans now. and i think my understanding is
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folks are frustrated in the administration, as you might expect. and the problem is, this is a difficult task that we always seem to assign, regardless of administration, to the state department, which frankly is not probably the best organization in the u.s. government to handle such a task. >> fouad, you listened in arabic to an interview gadhafi gave on libyan television today. what struck you about it? >> it's almost embarrassing. when you talk about gadhafi criminality always mixes with comedy and one is almost embarrassed to tell a joke of moammar gadhafi and how much of an absurd man he is. in this interview, at one point, this is really -- he asked the libyan people to indulge him, to put up with him and he puts himself forward and said think of me as queen elizabeth. i reign, but i do not rule. i'm almost tempted to do lloyd benson, we know queen elizabeth she's a good friend of ours, and moammar gadhafi is no queen
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elizabeth. this is the absurdity of this man. he then called on libyan women to go out and get their brothers and sons out of the streets, because they are getting hurt. then, of course, he returned to the big fat lie, that this is bin laden, and these are the doings of bin laden. and the bin laden explanation by moammar gadhafi is not accidental. the bin laden explanation is an appeal to the fears of the west. it's an attempt to tell people in europe and people in the united states, look, there's no alternative to me except the jihadist, and what's absurd about this is he himself, he himself, gadhafi sent thousands of jihadists against american forces in iraq. we know that for sure. so it's the old trick, it's the old trick that gadhafi had been playing to perfection for 40 years. >> fouad, you saw some document from benghazi written by people how to govern themselves. what about it? >> i love that. i downloaded this document from benghazi because it speaks
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to the kind of discipline ben wedeman has been telling us about. a statement that the people of benghazi circulated, a kind of leaflet, telling the people what to do and telling the people of benghazi what this revolution is all about. one, it says in the name of god, et cetera, safe keep the lives of all libyans and arabs. they're a trust to you. defend public institutions and establishments, for they are property of the libyan people. and no honorable people will trifle with public property. every free and decent libyan should turn over weapons obtained from army surplus or military camps. clear all roadblocks so that calm will return to all public and private establishments. avoid any provocative acts that would harm our beloved country. we will prove to one and all that our revolution is not a revolution of hooligans and vagabonds.
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these are the people who have stepped forth in the chaos of this revolution with moammar gadhafi and we can see them and read them and hear them and can trust what they stand for and what they say, with the doings of the house of gadhafi. >> fouad ajami, we appreciate you being on, fran, as well. coming up, the u.s. military using psychological operations against u.s. senators to influence american policy to try to get more money and troops for the war in afghanistan. sit a stunning report. i'll talk to the writer who wrote the story next. [ female announcer ] it's lobsterfest.
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a stunning report about an alleged attempt by the u.s. military to influence senators to approve more troops and money for the war in afghanistan. it's a story that broke on rollingstone.com. within the past 24 hours. the article quotes a former active duty lieutenant colonel who claims he and his team received orders to psychologically manipulate visiting dignitaries, including senators like john mccain, al franken, even the chairman of the joint chiefs admiral mike mullen. the military team refused noting it's illegal to use psy-ops on americans. but according to that lieutenant colonel, raising the red flag earned him an investigation. the general is denying that it happened. the top commander in afghanistan, general david petraeus, is ordering an investigation. join us live from washington is
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michael hastings, who wrote the article, and in dallas, texas, mike holmes, the key source quoted in the article and former active duty lieutenant colonel this the national guard. appreciate both of you being with us. mr. holmes, when people hear psy-ops, we know that's stuff usually directed toward the enemy. there's a quote in the article that said "what do i have to plant inside their heads? what kind of tactics are we talking about here when we talk about psy-ops that you say you were asked to use toward u.s. senatoring and others? >> i think really more correctly what we would say is influence operations. and what we mean by that is, how would we influence these senators, these visitors or the think tanks that visited us to do things the way we wanted them. and for instance, with senators and the congressman, it was simply, how had these people voted in the past, what were
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their positions coming in and what could the generals actually say to them that would get them to do what we wanted them to do, provide more money and troops, and support mtma better. >> so was it actual kind of techniques that you had learned or was it more benign, was it just, well, you know, getting a sense of okay, who are these visiting dignitaries and let's try to show them -- let's put the best possible face on things. >> first off, we didn't do it. what i mean by that is, we were pressured really from december on to start providing this kind of information. at first, it was rather benign, simple background information, biographical summaries, voting records, positions people had taken. as time went on through january, february, march, it got -- the pressure built for us to be able to provide better or more kind of assessment work.
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so not only what had these people done in the past but, again, what could we do, what could the generals say, what information could we present to them that would get them to provide what they needed at the time. usually it was more troops, more trainers, because we were woefully short. the problem wasn't so much that we were using information to do that. the problem was that you wouldn't want to use a psychologically trained team, you wouldn't want to use us as information operators to do that. because as you said up front, we're focused on the enemy and we should have been, not on our own people. >> michael hastings, you've written this story for rollingstone.com. explain what you think is so surprising here. >> sure. and i would just like to say that was an incredible interview you did to start the show and your commitment to that story is second to none and i appreciate your amazing work.
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but to this story, what i think -- what i firmly believe is that this is a story at the very at least about the misuse of resources. colonel homes and his team were trained to incluns the taliban, influence the afghan population. when they got to afghanistan, they were told your skill set is going to be used on visiting senators. it just shows it's a very slippery slope when you have an information cell that has specialized in psychological operations, military deception, and you're applying them to work that should be done by public affairs. what you have is a melding -- you have this traditional branch of public affairs what you can call propaganda and that wall being torn down and essentially an operation that seemed to me run amuck. you know, the command in
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afghanistan was encouraging to go on facebook and twitter, basically making no distinction between foreign audiences and domestic audiences. that's why with colonel holmes' story, i think we sort of see a -- it's a window into this larger, and to me much more troubling trend of the tens of millions of dollars being spent to influence american public opinion and using people with the wrong skill sets to do so. a lot more happening in wisconsin. police are sent to several democratic lawmakers homes. isha joins was that and more ahead.
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isha? a saudi national living in texas is being held on terror related charges. the 20-year-old man is accused of acquiring chemicaling the make a bomb. officials say one of his possible targets was the dallas home of former president george bush. in wisconsin, protests against a controversial budget repair bill continue at the state capital building. while the legislature remains in gridlock. 14 democratic state senators left the state to prevent a vote on the bill. today, state police went to their homes to try to wrangle them back for a vote, but they came up empty handed. general motors is reporting its first annual profit in seven years. the bailed out automaker earned $4.7 billion in 2010. and anderson, it is the beginning of the end, the space shuttle "discovery" launch today marking the starts of its 39th and final flight. the crew will deliver items to the international space station. a bittersweet piece of history
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